Crane topples onto Astoria building: FDNY

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ASTORIA, Queens — Firefighters rushed to the scene after a construction crane fell over onto a building in Queens on Friday morning, according to authorities.

Calls came in around 8:30 a.m. for a crane leaning against a building at 35-01 36th Ave. between 35th and 36th streets in Astoria, according to the FDNY.

Artie Piccininni, a nearby resident, said he heard two bangs which sounded like an explosion. His whole house shook, so he ran out to see what happened and wasn’t surprised at the sight. 

“The last couple of days I’ve seen these guys picking up steel and the truck was rocking,” Piccininni said. “This week I was telling people on the street [to] walk on this side. The guy was lifting like three I-beams at a time. Crazy.” 

No injuries had been reported, according to authorities.

Construction workers on the scene told PIX11 News it was a new apartment building under construction.

FDNY Chief Carmine Calderaro said they had members on the rooftops of nearby buildings.

“We had a tower ladder bucket up,” Calderaro said. “We had an aerial view of all sides and we’re pretty confident we did our due diligence to make sure nobody was in the building.” 

A worker said the crane was loading steel beams into place when apparently the load became too heavy. The worker inside the truck was not hurt.

The FDNY said units were operating at the scene, which was still active around 9:20 a.m.

The building is a new nine-story building project, which is currently constructed up to the second and third floor, the Department of Buildings said.

DOB inspectors found that the end of the boom made contact with a commercial building directly behind the construction site, causing minor damage to the roof. 

The contractors have brought in a master rigger and two recovery cranes to the scene, to safely upright the boom truck and remove it from the scene, according to the DOB.

The building had several violations and complaints, including one open complaint, according to the Department of Buildings website.

Correction: The story has been updated to reflect the correct location.

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